U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Friday he will not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, breaking a tradition that has for centuries been a hallmark of the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next.
Two days after infuriated Trump supporters overran the U.S. Capitol during Congressional proceedings to formally certify Biden’s win, Trump wrote, “I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Less than one day earlier, he had issued a video promising to devote his remaining time in office to a “smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power” to Biden.
Trump will be the first sitting U.S. president since Andrew Johnson to skip the ceremony. Johnson did not to attend his successor’s swearing-in 152 years ago.
Despite his long overdue acknowledgment Thursday that Biden will take office this month, Trump continues to insist that he was cheated out of a second term in office. Officials in his administration — including former Attorney General William Barr — have affirmed there is no evidence of significant voter fraud that would have made Trump the winner.